“The social healthcare regulator has warned that North Devon lags behind the rest of the county when it comes to mental health care for older people,” says Nick Harvey, MP for North Devon.
Despite confirmed investment for inpatient services, mental health workers are struggling to cope with increase patient demand according to a recently published report.
In particular the Care Quality Commission concluded: “There were variations in levels of community mental health staff across the Devon Partnership NHS Trust, and levels were particularly low in North Devon. … There was a shortage of community mental health workers in North Devon.”
While the trust has identified home treatment as a priority it is spending £3.8 million on inpatient services at Barnstaple, Exeter and Torbay. Also the Commission found that a reduction in inpatient staff had not led to an increase in community staff in all areas.
“This is particularly disappointing, in light of the trust moving away from a reliance on hospital to greater community services,” said Nick.
“I understand that all the mental health teams across the trust have lacked the resources to meet increased patient demand. North Devon though needs significant investment in order to be able to cope with people at home.”